Thursday, 21 April 2011

Don't forget your carry-on.

No one told me that the most important and sometimes the only thing you ever need to pack in the FS is.........your sense of humor.

Because the highlight of this week is that I don't have scabies.


Turns out I am just allergic to Thai band aids.

Good grief. Can't wait to file these medical claims. Excuse me while I go pour myself a bottle of wine.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Two Dalat favorites

I loved all of the little French remnants in the city, particularly this one at the train station.

Each and every night, downtown Dalat closes to traffic and opens up as a night market. Children, grandparents, tourists, locals - everyone mingles to stroll, buy dinner, chat. It was a great way to end our day. I loved seeing these two sweet girls playing Chinese checkers. They were so serious about their game. But as soon as their mother told them to smile for me, the girl on the right proceeded to wink at me for about 5 minutes straight. She stole my heart.

More Dalat Fun

We visited the Railway Station and took a ride on an old steam engine locomotive. The train ride allowed us to see the extensive country side where the produce and flowers are grown. We got off the train to visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda which was an amazing structure of mosaics and Buddhas and a huge bell with prayers attached. Or as my darling hubbie said, "Look, post-its for Jesus".

We also visited the Datanla waterfall which was reached by an insane little roller coaster, or CoasterBob as it was called, which was seriously fun, if not incredibly unsafe. After exploring the waterfalls, we rode a gondola and then took CoasterBob back up the mountain.

Road Trip to Dalat

Last weekend, Erik and I took off for three wonderful days with our dear FS friends, Jen and Sean, to Dalat. Dalat is a former French hill station in the Central Highlands and is known as the honeymoon capital of Vietnam. It is a beautiful mountain town that provides the majority of flowers and produce that are found throughout the entire country. With no kids and no schedule, we explored all the area had to offer. In particular, Dalat is known for producing strawberries and artichokes.

The Truc Lam Monastery and surrounding gardens:

Two flowers that I thought were amazing and I had never seen before:

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bangkok, aka the land of Happy

Making me happy in Bangkok?

  • Sleepy, sweet beings.

  • Window shopping & real-live shopping

  • Bangkok is known for having a wonderful street-food culture, and this woman made the best fried rice with egg I have ever tasted. I almost kissed her on the mouth.

  • One word - Boots.

  • The mixologists at Hyde & Seek.

I have linked to Hyde & Seek here because it was one of the best meals with amazing cocktails and awesome atmosphere. It was close to our hotel, although a tad pricey, so I only went once, but if you visit Bangkok, this is a special treat. My cocktail was called Bucket of Berries and was made of Raspberry Vodka, strawberries, black currants, mint and wild berry tea mix. You can keep your full disclosure, I am not going to tell you how many I had.

  • This woman and her Thai tea cart. Every day, sometimes twice a day.

  • Even the cellphone service is happy.

  • Also feeling the Thai love? Ronald himself.

Apparently a year away from the modern world of fast food has had an impact. I was never a huge fast food person, but I wasn't tempted while in Bangkok by McDonald's, Starbucks or Krispy Kreme at all. Mostly because there were so many other delicious options.

  • This one fast food joint had the BEST name ever.

  • Speaking of delicious options, the cupcake craze was alive and well in Bangkok.

  • Happy = BNS

BNS is the Thai equivalent of Staples, B&N and Hallmark, all rolled into one -it is, in my mind, the holy trinity of shopping. For the record, I bought four or five new pens (at 50cents a pop) and only three new books. I was incredibly well-behaved. But if I ever go missing, I am most likely at the BNS at Central World Mall in Bangkok. Thankfully, Gwen loves BNS as much as I do. We seriously spent h.o.u.r.s there. Pure bliss.....

  • I have never, EVER seen shopping malls like the ones in Bangkok. But I was more impressed with the modern, fully-stocked grocery stores. Strange what living in the third world does to you...

I heart you Bangkok - thank you for an amazing vacation.